Dietary guidelines always seem to be changing, and a lot of energy drink manufacturers take advantage of those shifting goals with over-the-top claims that are aimed more at your wallet than your own wellbeing.
Among the many of these claims is that genetically modified (GM) foods should be labeled so consumers can have the ability to choose “GMO-free” energy drink products.
What Does GMO Stand For?
Maybe you’ve heard that GMOs are bad, but you don’t know why exactly. After all, those three little letters sound harmless. But when you learn what they mean, you might quickly change your mind.
The term GMO is short for “genetically modified organisms.” In the case of energy drinks, this means that it has been genetically engineered, using techniques such as cloning and protein engineering or even using genetically modified crops, for reasons that are not related to nutrition or health. It might sound like science fiction, but it is very much a reality.
Although genetically engineered food products have been on the market since 1994, the first large-scale commercial harvest of GMO seeds and crops occurred in the U.S. in 1996. Today, as many as 75% of all food products that you can find in your local grocery store contain ingredients that made them into GMO products in some way.
Are There Any Health Risks Associated With GMOs?
As GMOs become more prevalent in the United States (while most developed countries around the world have serious restrictions or bans on genetically modified foods), more research is also being conducted on the human health risks associated with consuming GMOs.
The bottom line for many who are opposed to GMOs is that without enough research, there's simply no way to tell how harmful GMOs truly are - and that is just not a risk worth taking - especially when the effects GMOs are having on the environment are so incredibly obvious.
The pesticide resistance of GMO seeds has led to the excessive use of chemicals like Monsanto’s Roundup, which has increased in use over fifteen times since GMOs were deregulated. It is now found in ground and rainwater, and air samples, and in 93% of pregnant women in a recent study. And, weeds and bugs resistant to glyphosate are requiring the use of even more potent pesticides, like 2,4-D, a chemical in Agent Orange, which brings additional environmental and health risks to virtually all ecosystems exposed.
Are GMOs Labeled?
In many countries all around the world, foods containing genetically modified ingredients must be labeled. But unfortunately, the United States does not require any labeling of GMOs.
Okay, so how can you avoid eating GMOs?
Start with anything that has the USDA organic certification (GMOs are prohibited in organic products).
Check for labels from the Non-GMO Project, which has a listing of over 27,000 Non-GMO Project Verified products.
Another option: Get out your handy magnifying glass and check the price-look-up (PLU) in the produce aisle. If it happens to show a four-digit number, the product is conventionally grown without GMOs. A five-digit number beginning with the number 9 indicates it’s organic.
However, a five-digit number beginning with the number 8 indicates genetic modification, but since reporting is voluntary, no one, unfortunately, does it.
Here are a handful of red flags that should cause you to think twice when you see the following ingredients:
Alfalfa: Not your favorite sprouts from the market, but the alfalfa that is grown specifically for beef and dairy cattle is often GMO, which means if the cow that turned into your hamburger ate GMO alfalfa, you ultimately will too.
Aspartame: Diet soda for starters, but also look for anything labeled with Nutrasweet or Equal.
Canola Oil: 90 percent of the United States crop is GMO. So, be sure to pop your corn in something else if you want to avoid GMOs.
Corn: 88 percent of the United States crop is GMO: Cereal, anything with high-fructose corn syrup or corn oil, tortillas, etc.
Sugar Beets: 95 percent of the United States crop is GMO. This is actually the reason why the label “pure cane sugar” is relevant. Without it, you might be getting GMO sugar beets mixed in with your cane.
Soy: 94 percent of the United States Crop is GMO. Soy sauce and tofu are both obvious culprits, but look for lecithin in ingredients for ice cream -- it may come from soybean oil.
Other foods to keep an eye out for include anything fried in cottonseed oil, papayas, and milk from cows injected with rBGH or recombinant bovine growth hormone.
GMOs and Proper Wild
Even though there is not a scientific consensus on the health effects of GMOs, several animal studies indicate that there are certain health risks associated with genetically modified food and its consumption.
At Proper Wild, we care about your health too much to take risks with unproven ingredients when there are plenty of great alternatives available.
Proper Wild energy shots are powerful, plant-based energy shots made using organic caffeine from green tea. There is absolutely nothing artificial in them and zero grams of added sugar - which is pretty rare to find in energy drinks these days!
In addition to being free of GMOs, Proper Wild Energy Shots are:
A Final Word
When looking to make healthy choices, consuming genetically modified organisms usually isn’t one of them, and it’s easy to understand why. The thought of scientists extracting a gene from one organism in a lab and inserting it into the cells of another organism just doesn’t seem natural.
And the truth is - it’s not.
However, research on GMO food products is still in the very early stages, so we don’t know too much about them or their effects on the body just yet. So until then, it’s best to stick with natural products and avoid GMOs when you can.
Here at Proper Wild, we believe in clean ingredients backed by science so we’ve crafted our clean all-day energy shots without the use of any GMOs.
We use organic caffeine from green tea to provide long-lasting, sustainable energy. Each energy shot has 15X more L-theanine than a cup of green tea for focus and productivity, without the crash, shakes, or jitters. To sweeten our energy shots, we use natural juices and never anything artificial for a clean, smooth, and natural taste without the junk.
The next time you're shopping for an energy drink, we challenge you to read the ingredients to see if you can find a beverage that is GMO-free. However, the scary truth is that you’ll quickly find this to be far easier said than done.
GMOs are everywhere - but not in our energy shots! So try Proper Wild today, you’ll be glad you did.